Business as Usual For Holtby as He Pitches His First Shutout of the Year

Posted November 24, 2015

(Caps Outsider)

“Shutouts only matter if it’s 1-0 like it was,” Braden Holtby said with a stern face.

Holtby stood in front of the throng of reporters eager to hear his take on the game. Holtby, of course, provided it. But his tone isn’t what you would normally expect from someone who just completed a 33 save shutout against the Edmonton Oilers.

He’s not mad, but he shows no emotion. He’s not rude, but he’s very matter of fact with each answer.

It’s just business as usual for number 70.

Holtby, of course, put on an absolute show against the Oilers, routinely sprawling across the ice making save after save.

“Unbelievable saves, too,” Karl Alzner said. “It wasn’t just like 33 outside shots. He was huge, and we know how frustrating that can be to play against a goalie like that. We’re happy we can…well…I was going to say ‘we can help him get a shutout,’ but he pretty much did it on his own.”

And while the Oilers aren’t the most offensive team in the NHL, their shots would come in flurries. Holtby wasn’t just blocking them away one at a time, they would come in bunches. And when you have guys like Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins humming around your crease, that can be a pretty daunting task.

“He’s unbelievable,” Tom Wilson said appreciatively about his goaltender. “Honestly, we’d lose that game if he’s not in the net. If we had any other goalie in the league, I think playing that game, we don’t win this hockey game.”

And this effort almost didn’t even happen. During warmups, while Holtby was doing his stretches, Justin Williams inadvertently skated backwards into Holtby, crashing down on top of his back while he did a split. Williams got right up and immediately checked to see if his goaltender was okay. After the game, Williams joked about the incident.

But what did Holtby say about the collision?

“Hopefully we don’t have to make that a habit.”

He said it in the most stern, calculated, focused and unamused way you could possibly say the nine worded phrase.

Business as usual.